BMW Gran Coupe review: A modern tech masterpiece

The four-door version of BMW's 6-series comes out with spectacular performance and cabin electronics, including connected features.

Wayne Cunningham Managing Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
Wayne Cunningham/CNET

I am one of those traditionalists who believes a coupe should only have two doors, yet after driving the 2013 BMW 640i Gran Coupe, I don't care how many doors this sleek bit of German automotive engineering sports. The car is such an excellent example of tech used well that our staff could find very little worth criticizing.

In its various comfort settings, the 640i Gran Coupe cruises along in luxury, treating passengers to massage seats, fine materials in the cabin, and delicious sound quality from a Bang & Olufsen audio system. Push a couple of buttons, and suddenly the car charges through sharp corners with purpose, responding easily to driver input. And for a car that can hit 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, mid-20s fuel economy is quite good.

The cabin shows some useful and some whimsical tech features. Voice command works well for navigation, making phone calls, and selecting music. The BMW ConnectedDrive app served up my Facebook and Twitter feeds to the car, which could read them out loud. And the Wiki TourGuide feature is a fun way to explore an area.

On top of all that, BMW builds very useful driver assistance features into the car. The thing can parallel park itself, and it includes blind-spot detection and lane-departure warnings. The head-up display is so easy to get used to, I found myself missing it when driving other cars.

Check out CNET's review of the 2013 BMW 640i Gran Coupe.